Rules of Disengagement: Author, Audience, and Experimentation in Ukrainian and Russian Literature of the 1970s and 1980s
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CitationKotsyuba, Oleh. 2015. Rules of Disengagement: Author, Audience, and Experimentation in Ukrainian and Russian Literature of the 1970s and 1980s. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractIs there a direct correlation between the degree of an artist’s participation in ideologically defined discursive practices and the aesthetic value and expressive innovation of her or his work? How does the concept of the implied audience influence an author’s approach to the creative process? How relevant is the author’s own self-projection in her or his works to their aesthetic quality? Examining these and other questions, this dissertation studies the strategies of an artist’s engagement with or disengagement from repressive political systems which are understood here as mechanisms of putting forward demands regarding the artist’s creative output.
Questions of late Socialist Realism and its national variants, ideological art, kitsch, mass literature, narodnytstvo (populism), “chimerical” (“whimsical”) prose, totalitarian culture, shistdesiatnytstvo (movement of the generation of the 1960s), and cultural heritage define the theoretical framework of the dissertation. The study discusses the period of the 1970s and 1980s in the Soviet Union, focusing on Ukrainian literature and its dynamics during the Stagnation Era and perestroika. Examples from Russian literature test the argument and provide opportunities for comparative analysis. Within Ukrainian literature of the 1970s and 1980s, the dissertation examines the prose works of Valerii Shevchuk and Volodymyr Drozd and poetry of Petro Midianka and Oleh Lysheha. Within Russian literature, the study discusses Liudmila Petrushevskaia’s prose works and Elena Shvarts’s poetry. The authors and their works illustrate the range of possible attitudes towards participation in the system of Soviet cultural production. Close readings of the authors’ representative works demonstrate how complex negotiations with the system are reflected in the aesthetic quality and expressive ability of literary works. The dissertation shows the significance of the author’s concept of the implied audience and her or his own self-projection as an author for the creative process and its outcome.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:23845486
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